Just like that, we’ve come to the final article in our series! This piece rounds up the last few concepts I’d like to discuss, and also gives you a few bonus tips that I hope will address some widely held misconceptions.
- Sleep>>>>>everything else
Sleep might be the most underrated thing among Biomed students – we sure don’t tend to get enough of it. And in all fairness, it’s a little hard to. I’m proud to say that I haven’t pulled an all-nighter but I’ve had my share of sleep-deprivation (to the point where I actually took a nap one of the weekends I went home – and I’ve always thought I was incapable of napping). From experience, sleep deprivation ruins your focus in lectures, kills your productivity and negatively affects your output. If I had to do things again, I would prioritise getting a good night’s sleep over staying up for a task I can still manage to finish by the end of the week. Occasionally you might genuinely feel like you have no choice but to complete something before going to sleep – like if you have an exam tomorrow that you only started cramming for today (I really wish I wasn’t saying this from personal experience). In that case, do what you need to do, but seriously sleep deprivation should only be reserved for a situation as desperate as that….and you should still try and avoid the all-nighters…for your own sanity.
- A support system is key
Sometimes, Biomed can become all-consuming (a little bit like a black hole if I’m being completely honest with you), so it’s nice to be reminded that civilisation still exists. I video-called my parents almost every night and I’m thankful to them for being so supportive and for always finding ways to make me laugh. I was also fortunate enough to have made some amazing friends this year with whom I shared meals, and attended lectures or labs. It’s little things like those that act as beacons of light in the darkness, grounding you in reality when the strings start to snap. Plus, you can all celebrate together when you finish!
- Don’t stress about labs
I made the mistake of spending wayyy too long preparing (and stressing) for my labs in semester 1. As it turned out, I didn’t really need to. I highly recommend reading the lab manual beforehand but aside from that, the TAs and lab assistants are so helpful and willing to answer anything (so ask them all of your questions!). I was lucky enough to have friends in a lot of my labs which made them a lot more relaxing in my opinion, and I also got to know new people in my other labs which was just as nice. On a side-note, Medsci 142 labs are definitely worth spending time on since they’re more content-heavy, have end-of-lab closed-book tests rather than an assignment sheet to hand in, and they’re also assessed in the end-of-semester tests and the exam.
- Medsci 142 is not the nightmare people make it up to be
On the contrary, Medsci was by far my favourite paper this year. The content was very engaging, the course was so well organised, the lecturers taught everything in such a straightforward manner, the assessments were all fair, and the Piazza tutors were absolute legends. Need I say any more? The only thing you need to do for the dream to stay a dream and to not regress into a nightmare is to stay up to date. Falling slightly behind isn’t the end of the world as long as you’re caught up by the end of each week. But I repeat, this is not a course you want to be playing catch-up with.
I hope these carefully selected pearls of wisdom are of benefit to you and I wish you all the best for Biomed and the future. You’ve got this!